Parallax by Phronesis, review by John McBeath
This is the sixth album from Anglo-Scandinavian trio Phronesis, and their fourth for Edition Records. Led by Danish bassist Jasper Høiby with UK pianist Ivo Neame and drummer Anton Eger from Sweden, the trio is obviously democratic in its approach to content, each member having composed three of these nine tracks.
The group’s name is an ancient Greek word, translated as ‘practical wisdom’, a description, added to the word ‘musical’, that certainly applies to Phronesis’s virtuosic capabilities. The music is cerebral and descriptive but also swings mightily.
One of the leader’s pieces, Just 4 Now demonstrates the trio’s peak driving mode as Høiby’s bass pushes vibrantly through the busy complex of drums and piano, and delivers a fast-moving solo of clever rhythmic emphasis.
Neame’s Manioc Maniac has nothing to do with the Cassava (Manioc) in the title, but employs a good serving of racing, maniacal high energy piano right from the start, as drums and bass rush it all along to an abrupt conclusion.
The opener, 67000MPH by Eger is another high speed outing to start, with a smart piano and bass unison riff and Eger’s hyperactive cymbals, moving to a medium tempo later, again showing the trio’s almost telepathic communication.
Stillness, with its slow, mysterioso beginning has all three players contributing, as the leader adds the arco’d bass, but it moves into firstly a striding rhythm, and then a hard swinging passage riding to the conclusion.
Phronesis is at the world forefront of accomplished jazz piano trios with high calibre individuals, combining perfectly on their originals in a decidedly Eurojazz style.
Review originally published by the Australian